Tennis-French Open battles gloom as bad weather looms

Bosnian Damir Dzumhur said he would take legal action against the French tennis federation after being barred from the tournament following his coach’s positive test.

This year marks the first time the main Philippe Chatrier court is equipped with a retractable roof, which will allow organizers to schedule late matches.

This option could be vital for a tournament postponed from its initial late spring slot to the autumn, when days are shorter and rain spells longer.

While 12 courts will be equipped with floodlighting, which will allow play to continue later into the evening, rain is forecast for six of the first eight days of the two-week tournament when the schedule is at its most crowded — just one covered court might not be enough to stay on schedule.

Yet at least some fans will be able to cheer on the players.

“I think having a few people, just put in 1,000 people and they will be louder than they’ve ever been before so 1,000 might sound like 10,000,” former French Open champion Mats Wilander told Reuters.

“So I think it’s great the fans are back. I have no idea if it’s a smart move.” (Additional reporting by Martyn Herman and Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by Toby Davis)

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